Comparison of iron oxide nanoparticle and waterbath hyperthermia cytotoxicity

J. A. Ogden, J. A. Tate, R. R. Strawbridge, R. Ivkov, P. J. Hoopes

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The development of medical grade iron oxide nanoparticles (IONP) has renewed interest in hyperthermia cancer therapy. Because of their modifiable size and heating capabilities under an AC magnetic field (alternating magnetic field, AMF), IONPs have the potential to damage or kill cells in a manner more therapeutically efficient than previous hyperthermia techniques. The use of IONPs in hyperthermia cancer therapy has prompted numerous questions regarding the cytotoxic mechanism associated with IONP heat therapy and if such mechanism is different (more or less effective) with respect to conventional hyperthermia techniques. In this in vitro study, we determine the immediate and long-term (24 hours) cytotoxic effects of isothermal IONP hyperthermia treatment versus a conventional global heating technique (water bath). Using the same heating time and temperature we showed significantly greater cytotoxicity in IONP-heated cells as opposed to water bath-treated cells. We postulate that the difference in treatment efficacy is due to the spatial relationship of particle-induced thermal damage within cells. Although the exact mechanism is still unclear, it appears likely that intracellular IONPs have to achieve a very high temperature in order to heat the surrounding environment; therefore it is reasonable to assume that particles localized to specific areas of the cell such as the membrane can deliver exacerbated injury to those areas. In this experiment, although detectable global temperature for the particle-heated cells stands comparable to the conventional heat treatment, particle-induced cell death is higher. From the results of this study, we propose that the mechanism of IONP hyperthermia renders enhanced cytotoxicity compared to conventional waterbath hyperthermia at the same measured thermal dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71810K
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventEnergy-based Treatment of Tissue and Assessment V - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 25 2009Jan 26 2009


  • AMF
  • Alternating magnetic field
  • Efficacy
  • Hyperthermia
  • Iron oxide
  • MCF-7
  • Nanoparticle
  • TEM
  • Transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of iron oxide nanoparticle and waterbath hyperthermia cytotoxicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this